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Allegheny County Health Director Blames 'Concerning' Rise In COVID-19 Cases On Delta Variant, Unvaccinated Residents

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County health leaders say it's concerning, but not surprising: COVID-19 numbers are on the rise as the delta variant continues to spread nationwide.

The county reported 70 cases from Monday and 55 cases from Tuesday, which is an increase from the 10-15 daily cases the county was reporting in June and early July. Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Bogen calls it a "stark reminder" that the virus isn't done with us yet.

"These numbers are concerning, but not surprising. Give the virus an opening, and it will enter. Unfortunately, we are giving it an opening, not only here, but across the country," said Dr. Bogen.

She points to the more contagious delta variant and people who aren't getting the shot.

"In other parts of the country, the delta variant has resulted in an increase in hospitalizations; it is too soon to know if that will happen here. However, we can prevent it if more of our friends and loved ones get vaccinated. We have ample vaccine, as do our healthcare partners," said Dr. Bogen.

She says contact tracers have linked new infections to indoor gatherings like a boat cruise, a bingo game, sporting events and Fourth of July parties.

But she also says contact tracers have only been able to reach about half of new cases, which hampers the county's ability to stem the spread. Because of this, the county is having a hard time tracking breakthrough cases, or infections in people who are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Bogen is asking everyone to continue to follow CDC recommendations and get vaccinated.

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